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Rival iPhone app stores threaten Apple hegemony

updated 04:30 pm EST, Fri March 6, 2009

Rival iPhone stores loom

Several new online stores are threatening to challenge the current rigidity of the iPhone economy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Opening today is the Cydia Store, an extension of the software associated with browsing and downloading unofficial iPhone applications. While most apps available through Cydia have been free, some Cydia Store downloads will cost a fee, with the creator of the service reaping a commission similar to the one taken by Apple from official iPhone apps.

A second service in development, Rock Your iPhone, is planning to launch sales directed at people who have not already hacked their iPhone. Scheduled for an unspecified point in the future is a third option, which will sell pornographic games circumventing Apple's normal censorship of the material.

Apple is unlikely to tolerate the existence of the stores for long, as popular third-party alternatives would divert money away from App Store income. Content from third parties could also violate a number of the standards set for the iPhone, including not just subject matter but levels of security and code stability. Apple has in fact argued that the process of jailbreaking an iPhone is illegal under the DMCA, though the company may face stiff opposition from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is calling for a formal jailbreaking exemption. Unlocking a phone for other carriers is thought to have at least limited legality under the current DMCA.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -19

    Lose, Apple, Lose

    This is a lawsuit they should lose. I sold my iPhone and moved to the G1 over the App Store issue.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    This is true

    "Sure, GM might tell us that, for our own safety, all servicing should be done by an authorized GM dealer using only genuine GM parts. Toyota might say that swapping your engine could reduce the reliability of your car," he said. "But we'd never accept this corporate paternalism as a justification for welding every car hood shut and imposing legal liability on car buffs tinkering in their garages."

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +16

    Fair game

    Sure, some people WILL jailbreak their phones to download apps from other sources. To this, I say, fine. Let them. However, I understand Apple in denying warranty or support for any unlocked phone. The choice is yours to make.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -9

    Re: Fair game

    The problem here is that Apple is sealing the phone, and if you want to do anything with it that isn't Apple approved (OMG, I want to run a background app just like Apple runs background apps!) you either can't, or risk losing your coverage.

    Yet, oddly enough, if you buy a new mac mini, you can install any software on the device. And if it breaks, oh, wow, it is still covered under warranty. Wait, how is this different? Oh, it isn't, except Apple wants to control everything you do with an iPhone.

  1. OS2Guy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Outright Theft

    I won't mince words. The bottom line here is that the iPhone belongs to Apple. If you don't like the sale requirements then buy a freakin' Blackberry Storm and sign on with T-Mobile. What these thieves are doing is putting the legitimate iPhone user at risk just so they can put money in their pocket. Apple should sue and sue hard and every thief should pay a premium price. Here's hoping Apple bricks every last jailbroken iPhone. If this were YOUR product you'd be screaming your head off (and don't deny it).

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    iPhone is rent to own

    When you buy a subsidized phone through a contract, you are only making a down payment on the device so it really does not belong to you until you finish paying off the device through your contract term or pay the cancellation fee. It would be unethical to jailbreak/unlock the device unless you have paid for the phone outright or have completed the contract term.

  1. arfore

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    You get what you pay for

    For those of you that find Apple's restrictions onerous, buy a different device, or risk damaging your phone by hacking it.

    Apple has always been one for trying to maintain a consistent user experience. The restrictions that they have placed on the App Store content is the way they have chosen to go.

    Would it be cooler if they had opened the platform up completely as well as the complete API so that you could write almost anything to run on it, the way the Mac is? Sure.

    However, I don't think that any of us that have bought into it should be complaining quite so loudly unless you really did not know this was what you were getting into.

  1. deVilliers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    rent to own?

    I'm not sure that is correct. Otherwise, we would have no right to make alterations to our house until we had paid off the mortgage.

    de V


    iPhone is rent to own
    -2
    03/07, 12:43pm, EST

    When you buy a subsidized phone through a contract, you are only making a down payment on the device so it really does not belong to you until you finish paying off the device through your contract term or pay the cancellation fee. It would be unethical to jailbreak/unlock the device unless you have paid for the phone outright or have completed the contract term.

  1. MacOS

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    agreed

    I agree with Arfore. I like to add that without restrictions more apps would be crashing the iPhone. Like what happens with computers. Although not as bad as Mac System 6 or Win 3.1. :)

    In a emergency it would be nice to have a phone that worked.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    People should do

    research before they buy an iPhone as to what you're allowed to do and what you're not allowed to do. That way, if the restrictions are too much for you, then definitely move to another device that suits you. If you buy the device knowing it has restrictions and then complain about it, then that really doesn't make much sense.

    It's like joining a church and you decide you don't like going to confession, so you call the pope up and say he should drop having confessions. Forget it. Just change to another religion. There are all sorts of silly restrictions in life. Get over it. You've still got a choice and if you don't like what you've got then move on. Nobody's stopping you. You just have to find what's suitable for YOU. Apple is clearly trying to control the platform but I think that's good for the iPhone community as a whole.

    I'm curious to see how unrestricted devices are going to be managed. I think they'll do well, but users will have a lot of headaches.

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